According to last Saturday's Wall Street Journal, chinoiserie is popular again. Architectural Digest seems to agree. Its October 2012 edition features retired designer Valentino Garavini's Chateau de Wideville, which is filled with every type of Chinese decorative item imaginable. The same magazine depicts Robert Duffy's Greenwich Village townhouse, which is home to a hand-painted chinoiserie mural, Regency lacquer chinoiserie cabinets and 19th-century Chinese porcelain. Chinoiserie is a French term meaning "a style of decoration reflecting Chinese motifs." According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the first known usage of the word was in 1883, but interest in Chinese objects developed in the 17th and 18th centuries due to trade expansion to the East. The Western world began appropriating Asian motifs in fanciful ways using blue and white pottery, gilding and lacquered surfaces. An early example of a chinoiserie-inspired interior was the Trianon de Porcelaine, which was built for Louis XIV at Versailles (1670 - 1671). This structure no longer exists, but chinoiserie was the rage until the 19th century, when railroad and steamship travel introduced Westerners to other exotic locales. Here are some examples of chinoiserie in current decor . . . 

"The master bedroom is papered with de Gournay's Earlham, a chinoiserie print on blue India tea paper. The bronze Giacometti-style chair acts as a valet."
Interior design by Miles Redd.
Photography by James Merrell.
House Beautiful (April 2011). 

"A four-foot-high pagoda in the dining room of a Brookville, New York, house 'is just here to make people smile.' . . . The silver tea-leaf wallpaper is from Gracie."
Interior design by Andrew Raquet.
Photography by Jose Picayo.
"The Glamour of Gray" interview by Emily Evans Eerdmans.
House Beautiful (September 2010). 

"Restored Louis XV-style German, mid-18th-c. embroidered chinoiserie pelmet from Doris Duke['s] estate atop an original, both for Sherman House." 
Photography by Jamie Hadley.

Detail of a chinoiserie lamp in my home. From Shades of Light.
Photo credit: Kathleen Sams Flippen.

"J. Tribble's antique Chippendale mirror and a collection of chinoiserie ceramics provide an alluring entree to the home's culinary quarters."
Greystone Estate Showhouse: Family Kitchen by the Veranda Editors.
Photography by Peter Vitale. 
"The Great House at Greystone Estate" by Deborah Sanders and Catherine Lee Davis.

"Blue and white, forever and always: framed Iznik panels of chinoiserie plates, antique Delft on lattice brackets, Aptware pottery, temple jars, and more chinoiserie. Tiered silver dessert stand is a showstopper."
Display at the Charlotte Moss Townhouse.
Photography by James Merrell.

" 'Chinoiserie is so charming and never goes out of style,' says [Meg] Braff who redid the stair rail in Chinese fretwork to liven up a dull entryway. Chandelier from John Rosselli."
Interior design by Meg Braff.
Photography by Thibault Jeanson.
House Beautiful (April 2011).

"In a guest bedroom, Lhasa Camel wallpaper from Brunschwig and Fils picks up the [chinoiserie] theme. [Meg] Braff bought the vintage chest and then found linens by Jane Wilner with a similar fretwork motif. . . . The light fixture is vintage. 'I'm a great fan of vintage fixtures. They bring a lot of personality.' "
Interior design by Meg Braff.
Photography by Thibault Jeanson.
House Beautiful (April 2011). 

"Mary McDonald mines the past, present and future in the design of the Lady's Bedroom, Large black and white photographs add a modicum of the contemporary to a stylish tableau anchored by the eighteenth-century French bureau plat and recently made chinoiserie screen, creating a room that is both elegant and au courant."
Interior design by Mary McDonald.
Greystone Estate Showhouse.
Photography by Peter Vitale.
"The Great House at Greystone Estate" by Deborah Sanders and Catherine Lee Davis.

"In a guest room, a Ceylon et Cie chinoiserie daybed - inspired by Thomas Chippendale's designs - and de Gournay's Early Views of India wallpaper are a 'theatrical nod to the Raj.' Josephine chair, Restoration Hardware. Hans Barbell brass table by Jonathan Adler."
Interior design by Benjamin Dhong.
Photography by Lisa Romerein.
House Beautiful (September 2012). 

"This is a guest bedroom, and the point is fun and fantasy. So I had two big silhouettes of historic Chinese costumes projected and painted on the walls. Now I personally just love chinoiserie - I love the girliness and the whimsy of it. . . . This is a silly guest room, so it is mean to be too much." 
Interior design by Mary McDonald.
Photography by Tim Street-Porter.
"Mary McDonald's Ideas for Home" by Stephen Singerman.

"1860s zinc-lined copper tub. A vintage Chinese birdcage hung from the ceiling adds another element of quirkiness." 
Penelope Bianchi's Santa Barbara, California house.
Interior design by Penelope Bianchi.
Photography by Victoria Pearson.
"Patina" interview by Mimi Read.
House Beautiful (September 2010).

"The library features a hand-painted chinoiserie wall mural by Matt Austin and curtains of a Holly Hunt fabric; the portrait over the Edwardian leather armchair is by Charles Webster Hawthorne."
Greenwich Village townhouse of Robert Duffy, president of Marc Jacobs.
Renovation by Stephan Jaklitsch of Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects
Interior design by Richard McGeehan.
Photography by Wiliam Waldron.
Styled by Howard Christian.
"In His Element" written and produced by David Colman.
Architectural Digest (October 2012).

"A screen sheathed in chinoiserie wallpaper meets small-scale British paintings in a bedroom."
New York City apartment of Daphne Guinness,
Interior design by Daniel Romualdez.
Photography by Thomas Loof.
Styled by Carolina Irving.
"In Her Fashion" written and produced by James Reginato. 
Architectural Digest (March 2011).


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